Save the Fingerlings

First Grade Addition Activities: Save the Fingerlings

based on 21 ratings

Did you know that a baby fish is called a fingerling? Help your kindergartener or first grader save the fingerling from the rough current while practicing addition. All they'll need is paper, dice and a pen to start. This cute and funny math game will encourage your little one to practice counting.

What You Need:

  • Pair of dice
  • 30 counters per player (plastic chips, pennies, buttons)
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Ruler

What You Do:


Create The Board:

  1. Create a 7" x 7" square. Measure 1" in from either side to create two long rectangles. Divide the center square up into 9 smaller rectangles (two lines down and two lines across).
  2. Write "12" inside the left rectangle, and "2" inside the right rectangle.
  3. Number the squares consecutively starting with the number "3" in the upper right corner, working down to "5" in the first row. The middle row has "6" at the top and "8 at the bottom. The left row of squares starts with "9" and finishes with "11" in the last square. Bold the lines around the center "7" square.


Play The Game!

  1. Have each player count out 30 math counters. Each of their counters represents one fingerling. The game board, referred to as the "whirlpool," should be positioned in the center of the table.
  2. Each player will take a turn rolling the dice. After they roll, they'll add the dice together and then place that number of "fingerlings" (counters), on the corresponding current, or number. If they rolled a 2 and a 4, which equals 6, they would place 6 fingerlings on number 8.
  3. If a player rolls the same number and there are already fingerlings on that number, they get to rescue the fingerlings and put them in their fingerling "haven." Then, they'll roll again.
  4. The center box 7, is the "fingerling multiplier". When a player rolls a 7, they will add 7 more fingerlings to the whirlpool (game board). But, if they roll a 2 or a 12 on their second turn, they'll need to place one fingerlings on each and every current (number) on the game board.
  5. If a player loses all of his fingerlings, he loses.
  6. Play until there's only one person left, or until time is called.
Updated on Aug 27, 2013
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